Where Are They Now

Where Are They Now

Published on October 21st, 2015

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Skippered by American John Kolius, Aloha Racing fell short in its bid as challenger for the 2000 America’s Cup in New Zealand. The team built two boats named Abracadabra, one of which – USA 50 – is sailing again on San Diego Bay after an extended period of storage. Mark Strube provides an update…

After the 2000 America’s Cup, the boat was sold to the Oracle team, which used it as a training horse for their 2003 America’s Cup campaign in New Zealand. Afterwards, it came to San Diego where it has mostly idled, having been used for parts and support by a local charter company which also had USA 34 and USA 54.

Those boats have moved on to Chicago, and now USA 50 has been given a new life by a private owner who will coming to San Diego once a month to go sailing. I was introduced to the owner about a year ago and was given the task of putting it all back together.

The boat is in very much original condition, with no engine, but has been stripped of all electronics and hydraulics. Those parts have been stored in a hot container for 10 years, and are badly in need of service or replacement. For now, the systems I am designing for the boat are all lines with purchases.

The plan is to tinker away on projects, making Abracadabra better every time we go sailing. For now I am utilizing the extensive talent in San Diego, gathering a crew to get a little sunshine, do some grinding, and enjoy a ride on the bay… all while I tick things off the list.

When training for the America’s Cup, the team was based in Hawaii, and the boat sported eye-catching hull graphics by marine artist Wyland. Well, the air-brushed whales, dolphins, swordfish, and marlin are still there… just hope the Southern California sea life can handle it.

Photos by Tammy Landes at Giving Back Photography.

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